N500mn fraud: Lagos Speaker, Ikuforiji’s trial delayed again

Adeyemi Ikuforoji

A Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, is being arraigned for allegedly laundering N7.7 million.

For the umpteenth time, the trial of the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, has been delayed.

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday fixed June 24 for re-arraignment of Mr. Ikuforiji, who is being prosecuted to money laundering and fraud of about N500 million by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Mr. Ikuforiji is standing trial along with his Personal Assistant, Oyebode Atoyebi.

Their re-arraignment of the two men was stalled on Monday due to the absence of the Lagos Speaker.

The EFCC had earlier arraigned them before Justice Okeke on March 1, 2012, on a 20-count charge, bordering on misappropriation and money laundering.

A frustrated Justice Okeke, before his retirement, lambasted the EFCC for its shoddy handling of the case; with repeated adjournments caused by the commission’s lawyers.

The accused will now appear before Justice Ibrahim Buba.

Defence Counsel, Tayo Oyetibo, informed the court on Monday that his client was not in court for the re-arraignment because he was not served the charge sheet.

He disclosed that the speaker was out of Nigeria, adding that he did not know that he would be re-arraigned because the charge sheet was not given to him.

The court, therefore, adjourned the case, and ordered the Prosecutor, Godwin Obla, to properly serve the court processes on the accused.

Mr. Ikuforiji was accused of using his position to misappropriate about N500 million belonging to the Lagos assembly.

The EFCC said that the accused committed the offences between April 2010 and July 2011, in contravention of Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.

Both accused persons had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mr. Okeke had granted Mr. Ikuforiji bail on self recognition, and admitted his aide to bail with the Clerk of the House as the surety.


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